Bug 139027 - Problems with Help information for Calc's INDEX() function
Summary: Problems with Help information for Calc's INDEX() function
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Documentation (show other bugs)
(earliest affected) release
Hardware: All All
: medium normal
Assignee: Not Assigned
Depends on:
Blocks: HelpGaps-NewFeatures
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Reported: 2020-12-18 10:41 UTC by Steve Fanning
Modified: 2021-03-03 17:30 UTC (History)
3 users (show)

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Crash report or crash signature:


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Description Steve Fanning 2020-12-18 10:41:53 UTC
As part of the GSOD20 work to update the Calc Functions wiki pages, I have been reading the help page for the INDEX() function. Unfortunately, it appears to contain several errors and there are several glaring omissions.

1) There is no mention of using the INDEX function as an array function (either by ticking the Array button in the Function Wizard or by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Enter after typing the formula in the Input line). This is crucial to harness the full power of this function.
2) There is no mention of passing (multi-dimensional) inline array constants to the function, e.g., {=INDEX({1,3,5;7,9,10},{2;1},1)} is a valid array function call.
3) There is no mention of passing a multi-range area using the tilde (~) reference concatenation operator, e.g., =INDEX($B$1:$B$3~$F$1:$F$3,1,1). This could equally be written as =INDEX(($B$1:$B$3,$F$1:$F$3),1,1).
4) The introductory paragraph states that “Depending on context, INDEX returns a reference or content” is probably misleading – I have never seen the function return a “reference”. It can return the content of a single cell or, when entered as an array formula, can return the content of multiple cells.
5) The description of the Reference argument states that “If the reference consists of multiple ranges, you must enclose the reference or range name in parentheses”. This is not true, e.g., =INDEX(TwoAreas,1,1) is okay.
6) The description of the Row argument states that “In case of zero (no specific row) all referenced rows are returned”. This is only true if entered as an array function. Ditto for the corresponding statement for the Column argument.
7) The examples need to be reviewed and updated in the light of the above comments. This function is sufficiently complex and powerful that maybe linking to an ODT file containing a wide range of examples might be worth considering.

Steps to Reproduce:
Search for INDEX in the list of help topics.

Actual Results:

Expected Results:

Reproducible: Always

User Profile Reset: No

Additional Info:
Version: (x64)
Build ID: d7547858d014d4cf69878db179d326fc3483e082
CPU threads: 6; OS: Windows 10.0 Build 19041; UI render: Skia/Vulkan; VCL: win
Locale: en-GB (en_GB); UI: en-GB
Calc: threaded
Comment 1 Roman Kuznetsov 2020-12-18 20:03:28 UTC
Eike, could you comment this problem?